FBI Arrests Teen For Allegedly Planning Terrorist Attack

(Photo by ANDRI TAMBUNAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Thomas McGiffin Contributor
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The FBI arrested 18-year-old Alexander Scott Mercurio on Saturday after he allegedly plotted to attack an Idaho church on behalf of the terrorist organization ISIS, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Mercurio’s plan allegedly involved acquiring various weapons to carry out the attack near his home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, according to a DOJ statement. He allegedly arranged to use a metal pipe to assault his father and acquire his weapons.

“His attack plan involved using flame-covered weapons, explosives, knives, a machete, a pipe and ultimately firearms,” an FBI investigator said in the criminal complaint filed against Mercurio.

The FBI intervened before Mercurio was able to carry out his alleged plan.

“Mercurio spread ISIS propaganda online and solicited ISIS’s involvement in and approval of his propaganda efforts, discussed traveling from the United States to join ISIS, [and] considered and planned ways to support ISIS financially,” said the FBI investigator.

The Bureau became aware of Mercurio when he made contact with a confidential source online and indicated his support of ISIS, the DOJ said. (Related: Georgia Woman Allegedly Went On God-Directed Shooting Spree, Shoots Drivers) 

Mercurio had allegedly pledged his support to the radical terrorist group, “stating his intention to die while killing others on behalf of ISIS,” the FBI investigator said. He was planning his attack April 7th, so as to carry out the attack before the end of Ramadan, the investigator alleged in the complaint.

According to the DOJ, “Mercurio is charged by a federal complaint with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, Mercurio faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.”

“This case should be an eye-opener to the dangers of self-radicalization, which is a real threat to our communities. Protecting the American people from terrorism remains the FBI’s number one priority,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha, according to the DOJ’s statement.

Protestors were recorded Friday at an Al-Quds Day rally in Dearborn, Michigan, chanting “death to America.” The speaker at the rally said that both the president and the American system “has to go.”

At International Al-Quds Day Rally in Dearborn, Michigan Protesters Chant “Death to America!”; Speakers at the Rally: America Is One of the “Rottenest Countries” on Earth; Israel Is ISIS, Nazis, a Cancer

The White House condemned these protests in a statement to the Daily Caller.

“The White House condemns these abhorrent and Antisemitic remarks in the strongest terms. As President Biden has said, America is the greatest nation on Earth and a beacon to the world,” Andrew Bates, a White House spokesperson, told the Daily Caller, as previously reported.